Multigenic and morphometric differentiation of ground squirrels (Spermophilus, Scuiridae, Rodentia) in Turkey, with a description of a new species

is a journal article

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 43: 916 (2007)
 I Gunduz   M Jaarola   C Tez   C Yeniyurt   P Polly   J Searle 


 Cytochrome b   Geometric morphometrics   Phylogeography   Spermophilus   X chromosome sequences   Y chromosome sequences 

This study reports on the molecular phylogenetics of ground squirrels, genus Spermophilus, in Turkey using cytochrome b (1140bp), part of the D-loop and flanking tRNAs (572bp), X chromosome (867-1051bp) and Y chromosome (983-989bp) DNA sequences. Individuals also were characterized by karyotype and with geometric morphometric analyses of mandibles and skulls. Two hundred fourteen individuals from 91 localities were studied. All the data support the recognition of a new species in SW Anatolia: the Taurus ground squirrel Spermophilus taurensis sp. nov. The new species has a small distribution in the Taurus Mountains in an area that is a hotspot for biodiversity. Molecular clock analysis suggests that the new species diverged from the European ground squirrel, Spermophilus citellus, about 2.5 million years ago and that the ancestor of these two species diverged from the widespread Anatolian ground squirrel, Spermophilus xanthoprymnus, about 5 million years ago. Morphometric differentiation in skull and mandible shape among the three species is incomplete, but statistically significant. S. xanthoprymnus is subdivided into five cytochrome b phylogroups and we use these data to infer the location of glacial refugia where the species lived during the last glacial maximum. This study illustrates the potential of combined molecular and morphometric studies to uncover new Anatolian species and to reconstruct their phylogeographic history. The new species is important for squirrel taxonomy and for understanding Eurasian mammal evolution.

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Taxon/gene matrix

Table lens view of sequences, grouped by taxon and gene feature. Click on accession number to see details for sequence. Note that if more than one sequence exists for the same gene for the same taxon, only one will be displayed here.


Sequence features (such as genes) in this study

 DBY7      DBY14   SMCY8   DBX6   DBX7   tRNA-Thr   tRNA-Thr   tRNA-Pro   tRNA-Pro   control region   cytb   cytochrome b 


Taxa sequenced in thius study

 Spermophilus xanthoprymnus   Spermophilus taurensis   Spermophilus citellus 

Sequences 108

Sequences cited by this article.

Taxa in this study

Studies on related taxa (1)

Studies within span off this study, based on the NCBI taxonomy.
  1. Multigenic and morphometric differentiation of ground squirrels (Spermophilus, Scuiridae, Rodentia) in Turkey, with a description of a new species